Frogs are a very good way to catch big bass. Learning how to fish with frogs properly is essential for success. This type of bass fishing is extremely precise and it requires some very special gear and equipment to get the most efficient action out of your lures. It takes time, commitment, and determination to do it correctly. You are looking to catch big fish instead of many fish. Also, remember that frogging gets easier the more you do it. Don’t look at frog fishing as hard or intimidating. It doesn’t have to be. It can actually be quite simple. It can also be one of the most exciting methods of catching trophies in the entire sport of bass fishing. All the pros frog fish.
You can throw them everywhere too. They never have exposed hooks so you can throw them pretty much everywhere without hanging up. Although many may not see themselves as another Ish Monroe or Kevin VanDam, fishing hollow bodies and other similar topwaters is for everybody who loves an explosive topwater bite. They are versatile and they catch big fish. There is a certain art to the way you are supposed to fish them in regards to action. We are going to go over everything you need to know as far as equipment, color selection, imparting action, everything.
Proper Frog Fishing And Its Much Needed Equipment
Unfortunately, frog fishing is a little more complex than just tying on your favorite lure onto your spinning rod, and casting it out until you get a bite. For consistent success, you will require very special equipment made specifically for frogging. Each part of this setup works alongside the other parts of it to create a setup that catches fish and does it effectively. You never want to try to frog fish without the proper gear. It does not work very well unless you have technique specific equipment. If you have the incorrect line, the hook won’t penetrate the fish’s mouth.
It can also snap or break off. If you have the wrong rod, it can break under stress as well as compromise your hooksets. It also may not accept the heavier line you will be using. If you have the wrong line, you run the risk of losing your lure and the fish when you set the hook. Many lines also do not cut through weeds well at all. Do yourself a favor and get prepared correctly to begin with. You will catch a lot more fish and not waste your time constantly worrying about your equipment. It will make up for itself in fish caught as well as wisdom gained in the process.
What Rod Should I Use? What Is A Good Frogging Rod?
You want a good rod for throwing frogs. Without a good rod, frog fishing will be almost impossible. This is where learning how to use a baitcasting rod is essential. You want a baitcasting rod that is heavy power with a fast action tip and a lot of backbone for hauling the bass out of the thickest grass, weeds, and other vegetation. In other words, you want a rod strong enough to muscle in fish that weigh in at over ten pounds if you have to.
There are many rods that fit the description of a good frog rod. Just make sure the action is fast, the rod is a heavy powered baitcasting version. Make sure that that the rod itself is strong enough to withstand big fish and extremely hard hook sets. The best rod would be a seven foot or longer heavy action baitcasting rod. Jig rods generally work well for catching fish on frogs.
What Fishing Reel Is Best For Throwing Frog Lures?
The optimal frog reel would be a quality baitcaster that has a faster gear ratio. In other words, you want a reel that picks up line very quickly. This is helpful in assisting with picking up the slack when you are walking the frog. Pretty much any reel will work as long as it is a baitcaster made from quality parts, has a good drag system, and is fast at picking up line. Other than that, you can experiment with this as much as you like.
How Proper Line Selection Is A Big Factor On Reels
Probably the most important feature of your setup, you need good line. I am serious about this. Do not ever settle for a sub-par fishing line if you are throwing frogs. I am not talking about traditional braids used for bass fishing either. You must have a good frog braided line that is a minimum of 65-pound test. To some, line this heavy may seem redundant, but it is required to pull the fish out of the thick, heavy, weeds. It cuts through the brush well and it also floats to help the frog walk properly. You do not want to use fluorocarbon because it sinks.
You don’t want monofilament because it stretches. Fluorocarbon will make your topwater lure a sub-surface one. Don’t do it. Monofilament will never allow you to cut through the weeds and pull the fish out of the grass. Do not go for it either. I will say one word and one word only if you are tying a frog on. Braid. Also, make sure it is good braid. Not the bargain bin marked down in price kind of braid.
What you pay for in line will eventually be compensated for when you are not having to constantly purchase more lures to tie on. At least fifty pound braid is recommended for frog fishing. That is the absolute minimum. Optimally, you want a great sixty five or seventy five pound braid for all of your frog fishing applications.
Tie A Great Knot
Before we get into fishing the frogs correctly for the most bites, I first want to address the knot you should use tie your frog onto your line. This is a subject that is usually not talked about as much as I think it should be. As much as you would never want to skimp on the quality of your line, don’t skimp on the quality of the knot you tie with it either. Braid can slip without a good knot especially if a nine or ten pounder hammers the lure off of the surface of the water.
Tie your knot and tie it very carefully. Lubricate the line before you tighten it and give the main line and tag end a few extra tugs or firm pulls. If you do not properly tie a good knot with braid, it can cost you your lure and your motivation. Taking a few moments more to tie it correctly will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run. I recommend the Palomar or double Palomar knots. They both do a great job of attaching the lure to the line securely. Some people with whom I am familiar with, tell me that the normal Palomar will slip with braid.
While I do not think they are lying to me, in all of my years of frogging, I have never had the original Palomar knot slip even once with braid. Maybe I am lucky? Maybe they tied theirs improperly? If the very small possibility bothers you at all, just tie the double version of the same knot to remove that possibility. Still, even with the double Palomar, remember to tie it correctly. A good knot is needed for frogging. You will be ripping the frog out of the brush and setting the hook extremely hard in most cases. You want the strongest line to lure connection you are capable of having.
Understanding Frog Differences
Understanding the differences between frogs will help you on your quest to properly choose a lure that draws the most strikes. Many frogs are made differently. This different construction directly affects the action of the bait. Some frogs are bigger and some are smaller. Some have a lot of action and others have almost none at all. All the attributes that a frog has plays a big role in how you should select your frog. The fish may want to chase a faster frog with a lot of action or they may want to hit a slower moving one. Let the fish tell you what they want always. As a rule of thumb, warmer weather means faster lures. Cooler weather means slower moving lures. Weather affects fishing and you should match your frog choice to the situation.
To Pop Or Not To Pop?
There are differences in the designs of the nose on some models. There are conventional frog lures and popping frogs. Popping frogs have a cupped mouth and displace water differently. They are designed to remain in the strike zone longer. They also make a little more noise and are often fished much slower than standard frogs. These are best used in vegetation that is not absurdly thick. It is usually used to attract bass from the edge of weed lines instead of on them. They are generally the most effective in colder water as they can be fished in relatively the same spot for a long time.
Legs Or Skirts?
Frog lures come equipped with legs or skirts that act as the legs. This is important to consider before you pick a frog to use. Skirts generally don’t have too much action of their own. If you choose a frog with skirts, you will have to impart a lot of the action yourself. Probably one of the best frogs for this is the Kopper’s Live Target Frog. On the other hand, frogs that have legs like the Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog will often times have more action. Knowing which one to pick will dramatically increase your success. Although it is not an exact science, a rule of thumb says colder weather means you want less action and warmer weather means you want a little more.
Both of these options are some of the best hollow body frogs on the market. Both types of frogs are not season specific and they both can catch fish equally well in either. The reason I point this out is that you may have to fish them differently depending on the situation. If your frog has legs that kick around freely, fish might not go after it in colder weather unless it is fished extremely slowly and vice versa. Picking a fast moving lure sometimes just will not appeal to a slow-moving fish either so your technique will have to be modified in both instances.
It really just depends on what the fish want. Sometimes, cold water fish will hit a very fast moving frog so hard that it hooks itself. I have seen it happen. Others times, not so much. Feel free to experiment with which frogs catch you fish. Start throwing both and see which one you like best. There is no right or wrong answer. Use a bait and build confidence in it. The best hollow body frogs are dependent on the angler.
Choosing A Color
Choosing the right color for a frog is not difficult at all. There are three basic colors of frogs that will cover almost anything, anywhere in the world. Those are white, black, and chartreuse/yellow. Those are really the only three colors you need on your frog. There are other colors that you can get such as blue, red, green and others. I honestly don’t think you need them though. When I say the color of your frog, I am specifically talking about the belly of your lure. Not the top of it.
You can make the top of the lure as realistic or as unrealistic as you want. When the fish are attacking it, they see the frog’s belly and maybe some side on a rare occasion. Something they never see is the top of the bait, therefore, it doesn’t really matter. You have a white belly for clear water, yellow for fishing in slightly stained water, and black for fishing in dirty water or at night. Understanding the features of frog lures will help you decide on which one to throw.
Understanding The Season – How Seasons Correlate
The water is still very cold in the spring. The fish have a very low metabolism. This causes them to be lethargic and sluggish. The fish do not usually like to chase frogs during this time of the year. It is during this time when a popping frog comes in handy. You will want to fish slower and utilize the stop and go tactic as much as possible. You can usually get fish to bite during cold weather if you choose the lure and method of fishing carefully.
Summer is probably the best time to be frogging. Pretty much all types of frogs and most retrieves will produce pretty well. The water is warmer and the fish’s metabolism is higher. They have more energy to use and this makes them more aggressive as well. Pretty much any model of the lure with any type of retrieve will pull big bass out of the cover. Real frogs are abundant in population during this time of the year. The tadpoles have hatched because of the weather and the bass are keying in on prey on the surface more often.
During this time of the year, it is usually best to walk the frog or straight retrieve it across the surface swiftly for aggressive reaction hits. The water is getting cooler and the fish are slowing down although they will still chase faster moving baits occasionally. Fall is a season where fish will hit slower lures and faster ones if you buzz them through grass mats. I recommend doing just that. Get a lure with legs and reel it over grass mats or get a popping one and walk the dog.
Real frogs are not present in the winter. When you consider the life of real frogs and toads, they are cold-blooded animals like fish. The difference is that frogs have the option to avoid the cold water if they choose to, unlike fish. During the winter, not only do amphibians avoid the water altogether, but they actually do so for most of the season. To survive the harsh and frigid conditions,
frogs hibernate until it gets warmer out. As a result, frog fishing is greatly reduced in effectiveness simply because no real frogs are present during this time of year. That is not to say though, that fishing frogs is not an option. You can still certainly catch fish with them during the winter. Frogs are not the only thing you are imitating. You are imitating shad, bluegill, rodents, birds, reptiles, and pretty much anything and everything a big bass may want to eat. Choose your color carefully, and fish your frog very slowly utilizing the stop and go retrieve. When in doubt, use a popping version. They are more subtle. That makes the fish feel less threatened by its presence and it is more likely to bite.
Where To Throw Your Frog
Location, location, location. It is what makes frog lures shine. They are designed to be thrown in places that other lures with exposed hooks cannot get to. Whenever you imagine the classic frog resting on a lily pad, remember that a frog lure can accomplish this as well. Not only lily pads, but also trees, grass mats, submerged vegetation of any kind, and pretty much anywhere else big bass hide is fair game to a frog lure. Wherever it needs to be thrown, it can be put there without any problems. Throw the lure into openings in the grass or right on top of it. Do not be to hesitant as to where to put the lure. Try to look for places that you know would hang up an exposed hook lure like a crankbait or jerkbait. These are often the best place to throw them because the biggest fish in the water often take cover here on purpose, away from the places where other lures are thrown.
Fishing The Frog
Now we are finally getting into the fun stuff. Actually fishing. There are some methods of working the frog that has proven the test of time to be effective. The fish have let us know that the following methods of fishing the frog are like candy to them.
Walking The Frog
The most common method of fishing frogs is walking the frog. By walking, it, I mean to make it swim side to side as the slack is taken up by the reel. Cast it out, and instead of reeling in immediately, point your rod tip downwards and use your hand to move the rod’s tip so it causes the bait to dart from left to right again and again. Essentially, the lure should look like it is turning its body from one side to the other. This creates a disturbance in the water. Some frogs walk better than others. Other frogs have a bit harder time doing so. This technique is effective in pretty much every situation.
Just reeling a bait right in can sometimes be extremely effective. Most of the time, you want the lure to have legs that kick around or displace water as it is moving. This means that the frogs with skirts instead of legs are less effective at this. Just cast it out, and burn it back in. The legs will kick and dart around behind the lure. This technique is great for when the bass are aggressive. This is one technique where having the fast reel helps tremendously. This technique is best used in summer when the water is warmer or into fall. Also, the fish you catch on this retrieve are usually bigger. Not because small bass won’t hit it, but because they often miss it or short strike it.
Stop and Go
Although not always, the stop and go retrieve is used with the popping varieties. It is helpful when fish have low metabolism and do not feel like chasing quicker prey. Using this also allows you to work the lure by keeping in the strike zone for a lot longer. It is pretty self-explanatory. Cast the lure out, pop it once or twice, and let it sit. More times than not, the bass will hit the lure as it is just sitting there. This is why it is a great idea to wait a decent amount of time before popping it again. Usually, one minute is long enough to let a bass take it. After a minute or a minute and a half, give it another pop or two and wait another minute. Repeat this until you get out of the strike zone. Once you do, reel back in and cast it back out.
Setting the Hook
Never miss setting the hook on a frog. They are hard to hook up with sometimes. Do not let that deter you from throwing them. If you get a strike, resist the urge to set the hook right away. Almost always, bass never get the hooks in their mouths on the first strike. You need to give them two or three seconds to mouth the bait and inhale it first. If you set the hook to early, the fish may not have gotten the hook points in its mouth yet. When you set it like this, the lure pulls right out of the mouth of the fish without the possibility of a hookup. Count one Mississippi, two Mississippi, and three. Once you hit three, don’t say Mississippi. Set the hook right then. It should bet set with tremendous force too. Don’t skimp on your hookset. If it feels to gentle, it is to gentle. Set that hook as hard as you can. If you are just starting off, you can greatly increase your hookup ratio by taking a pair of pliers and bending the hooks of the lure upwards about two degrees.
Frog Fishing Is Simple
Catching bass on a topwater bait is already awesome by itself. Make that lure a frog lure and it takes the fun to a whole new level. Frogs are weedless, they catch big fish, and are a blast to fish with. When it comes to catching fish of great size, knowing how to catch bass with frogs can change the entire
sport for you. They are great for the tournament angler if you like to fish for a living and they are extremely fun to use if you are an angler who loves to catch big fish. There is nothing more exciting than working a frog and then having a giant bass explode on your lure. If anything, I recommend giving frog fishing a try. It isn’t too hard to do once you master the concept.
Have you ever fished frogs? What time of year? What is your favorite lure? Have you had an unforgettable experience using them? Let us know down in the comments!